A Byrdie Editor With Insomnia Shares the Routine That Helps Her Get Her Beauty Sleep

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Holly Rhue x Blissy

As a beauty editor, I know how important it is to get my beauty sleep. But, as a diagnosed insomniac, it can be hard to come by. I received my official diagnosis when I was 21; I’m 25 now, and over the last four years, I’ve sifted through hundreds of gimmicks and tips to build and refine a routine that helps me get in the right headspace for sleep—and wake up looking like I got a full eight hours (even when I didn’t). 

Luckily for you, we don’t like to keep our beauty secrets here at Byrdie. So ahead, I’m spilling all the details about my #ByrdieBedtime ritual—from the steps I take to ease my mind to the essentials that help me wake up feeling rested and beautiful.

1. I Put My Hair Up With a Blissy Silk Scrunchie

Blissy 100% mulberry silk hair scrunchie

I put my hair up at night to wash my face, and then keep it in a loose bun overnight. I have wavy to curly hair (depending on the day, the humidity, how recently I’ve washed my hair, and about a million other factors), which means the best way to keep my ends hydrated is by shampooing as little as possible. I usually go around four days between washes, so I take every possible precaution to protect my style overnight. What works best for me is to sleep in a super-fluffy Blissy silk scrunchie. The silk material reduces friction, reduces frizz, and doesn’t leave awkward dents in my hair when I wake up in the morning (which is a huge win in my book).

2. I Indulge With a Simple Skincare Routine

When I tell people I’m a beauty editor, they usually assume that I have a pretty complicated skincare routine, but I’m a no-frills kind of gal—I prefer to keep things simple and effective. I like to put on classical music and take my time. Since I share a tiny New York City apartment with my boyfriend, my evening skincare routine is my only “me” time. I kick things off with a double cleanse: I use an emulsifying cleansing balm to remove my SPF and makeup from the day, and then use a gentle gel cleanser to actually cleanse my skin. I follow up with my prescription retinoid, let that sit for 30 minutes or so, and then finish off with a generous dollop of a rich, hydrating moisturizer. That’s it!

3. I Always Make Sure to Shut Off My Screens

Once I finish my skincare routine, I plug my phone in, set my alarms, and then don’t look at my phone again until the morning. I had always heard about the ways blue light from your phone can disrupt your sleep (and your skin, btw), but I thought it was a myth. Since picking up this habit, I definitely feel sleepier sooner.

4. I Never Go a Night Without Chamomile Tea 

My bedtime ritual is never complete without a cup of chamomile tea. Just like coffee signals to my brain that it’s time to get going in the morning, I use tea to signal that it’s time to start settling in for the night. At this point, just the sound of the kettle whistling makes my eyelids feel heavy.

5. I Set the Mood With a Lavender- and Eucalyptus-Infused Pillow Mist 

Blissy Sleep and Pillow Mist + Sleep Mask + Hair Scrunchies + Pillowcase

I’m a firm believer in the olfactory-mind connection—you know, the idea that certain smells can trigger certain memories? I’ve found that the same is true for using scents to cue my brain that it’s time to do something. I wear perfume in the morning to trick myself into feeling more put-together and awake, and bedtime is no different—having the right scent wafting through my bedroom is an important part of cueing my brain that it’s time to go to bed. To help set the tone for sleep, I mist my bedroom with Blissy’s Sleep and Pillow Mist before settling in with my tea and a book. It’s infused with lavender and eucalyptus to make my bedroom smell like a spa. After a few weeks of using this product consistently, I can’t imagine falling asleep without it. 

6. My Head Hits the Pillow Around 11 p.m.

My 100% mulberry silk pillowcase from Blissy is the little indulgence that I look forward to all day. When my head hits the pillow, it feels like my entire body gives one collective exhale. The silk has just the right amount of slipperiness that it doesn’t tug on my hair, leave pillow lines on my cheeks, or trap heat throughout the night. I pick up my book right after I savor a few silent moments of silky bliss and usually read for about an hour before I fall asleep. 

7. When It’s Time to Sleep, I Block Out the World With an Eye Mask 

Since I rent my apartment, I’m not allowed to change out the blinds for something with a little more light protection (and I live across the street from one of the largest hospitals in Manhattan, so light blocking is essential). Instead, I sleep in a Blissy Sleep Mask to ensure that no light from the city (or my partner’s phone) will disrupt my sleep from the moment I close my eyes to the moment my alarm goes off. 

8. And Finally: I Woke Up Like This 

Holly Rhue woke up like this.

Behold: the difference of sleeping on silk. Here I am just a few minutes after waking up—my hair looks almost exactly as it did when I put it up in a bun the night before, and there’s not a single pillow crease in my cheeks or forehead. After popping on a little mascara and some sunscreen, I feel truly beautiful catching this morning light. 

To copy my #ByrdieBedtime routine, shop my sleep essentials here.